After Iran, Chavez talks energy with Belarus

After winding up his seventh visit to Iran, the Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is scheduled to visit the former Soviet Republic of Belarus.

Chavez is on a, 11-day tour of Eurasia, with stays in Libya, Algeria, Syria, Iran, Belarus, Spain and Russia.

He arrived in Tehran today for talks for Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Chavez's discussions with his next host - the Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko - will center around business.

"His visit to Belarus will focus on economy - the Venezuelan president intends to sign several trade deals," said the Belarusian STV television on September 4, according to RIA Novosti News Agency.

Chavez was last in Belarus a year ago, accompanied with a large delegation of businessmen, and the two presidents issued a joint statement on boosting energy and trade cooperation.

Belarus has almost no oil or gas reserves and is looking for new and reliable sources in order reduce its reliance on its neighbor Russia.

The state-run Belarusian oil company, Belorusneft, opened an aoffice in Venezuela in 2007 and has established a joint venture called Petrolera BeloVenezolana with Venezuela's state-owned oil company PdVSA for oil exploration and production.




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